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Cross Cultural Research

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1 Cross Cultural Research
Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos 15 May 2009

2 OUTLINE Issues in Cross-Cultural Research
Validity Participant Instrument Types of cross-cultural Research Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

3 Validity Validity: The degree of accuracy with which a conclusion is drawn Researchers have a burden to demonstrate that their research finding have validity The validity of a study’s finding is directly related to the validity of the research methods Interpretive validity: Valid communication between the research and target group Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

4 Validity Ecological validity: Extent that findings generalize beyond the research procedure to the natural context Theoretical (construct) validity: Establishing valid operational measures for the concept being studied This related to: Independent variables Dependent variables Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

5 Research Example Theory: Research Study: Theory: IV: Regular Reading
DV: Reading Achievement Theory: Read book every day with an adult for 10 min. Scores on reading section of classroom exams Research Study: IV: Regular Reading DV: Reading Achievement Theory: Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

6 Validity Equivalence: For a cross-cultural comparison to be meaning, two condition must be met: Equivalence in the conceptual meaning of the theoretical constructs between cultures Equivalence in the relevance of the empirical method between cultures If any aspect of a research study is not equivalent across cultures then the comparison not valid Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

7 Validity Types of Equivalence
Theoretical:Equivalent in meaning of theoretical framework tested and specific hypotheses tested Linguistic: Words used in the instruments are similar across languages Measurements: Instruments are equally valid and reliable across cultures Sampling: Samples are representatives of their culture and equivalent on noncultural demographic characteristics Procedure: Procedures used to collect data across cultures are similar Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

8 Participants Cultures to be studied Subgroups within the cultures
Differ on independent variables of interest Check to confirm that the cultures do differ on the independent variable Subgroups within the cultures Should be as similar as possible on non-cultural relevant demographic characteristics Individuals within the subgoups Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

9 Instruments Perspective 1: Use similar instruments for each culture
Assumption: The instrument is not biased against a particular culture Conclusion: Differences between groups reflect construct differences in each culture Advantage: Comparison is straight forward Disadvantage: The instrument might not be culturally meaningful for all cultural groups Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

10 Instruments Perspective 2: Use different instruments for each culture
Assumption: The same instrument cannot be equivalent across culture because psychological constructs are context-bound Conclusion: Difficult interpretation on comparisons across cultures Advantages: Measures behaviors that are more appropriate for each culture Disadvantage Uncertain whether the instruments are measuring conceptually similar constructs Comparison between cultures is difficult Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

11 Instruments Linguistics Equivalence: Can be established through back-translation of an instrument Step 1, Forward Translation: Translate from English into Language Step 2, Back Translation: An independent person translates the translation back into English. The instrument is considered equivalent in both languages if the back-translation is equivalent to the original Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

12 Instruments Cultural Bias: The instruments does not measure equivalent concepts in both cultures Theoretical/construct bias: The definition of the concept differs between cultures Item bias: Poor item translation Procedural bias: Differences in testing procedures across cultures Testing conditions Family with testing procedures Response styles Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

13 Instruments Response Style: Systematic tendency to respond in a certain way to items on a questionnaire Acquiescence bias: Agree with statements as presented Central tendency bias: Avoid extreme categories Social Desirability: Tendency to portray oneself in favorable light Reference Group Effect Participant self-report by comparing themselves to others Individuals with different cultural will have different standards of comparison Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

14 Reference Group Effect
Standard item: I have respect for the authority figures with whom I interact. Cultural comparison item: Compared to most Japanese I know, I think I have respect for the authority figures with whom I interact. Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

15 Reference Group Effect
Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

16 Control of External Variables
To reduce alternative explanations of differences between cultural groups Cultural populations should be selected a priori (before the experiment) based on ethnographic descriptions Measure the dependent variable by two or more measures Eliminate effect of irrelevant variables though statistical analysis (ANCOVA) Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

17 Research Designs Causal- Comparative: Compare groups of people on an independent variable to determine the effects of an independent variable that cannot be manipulated Correlational: Compare one group of people on multiple variables to determine the relationship between variables. Experimental: Compare treatment and control groups on a dependent variables. The experimenter must implement a treatment. Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

18 Cross-Cultural Research
Cross- Cultural Comparisons: Studies comparing different cultures on the same psychological variable Determine how individuals within cultures differ on psychological variables of interest Cultural Studies: Studies based on a theoretical framework that predicts and explains differences between cultures Correlation studies: Studies that determine whether the relationships between psychological variables are similar across cultures Linkage studies: Studies that establish links between contents of culture and psychological variables of interest Unpacking studies Experiments Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

19 Unpaking Studies Instead of culture as independent variable, a Context Variable is hypothesized to influence the dependent variable Context variable: Specific variable that explains cultural differences that then influences the dependent variable Both the context variable and the dependent variable are measured Degree to which the context variable influence the dependent variable is statically tested Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

20 Cross-Cultural Experiments
Priming Experiment: Experimentally manipulate mindsets related to culture to determine whether behavior differs as function of a primed mindsets Example (Trafimow,Triandis,& Goto, 1991) Treatment 1: Private Mindset Please think of what makes you different from your family and friends. Treatment 2: Collective Mindset Please think of what you have in common with your family and friends. What do they expect from you to do? Participants were then asked to write a paragraph that described themselves Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

21 Frequency of Individually-Oriented and Group-Oriented Responses for American and Chinese (Trafimow et al., 1991) Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

22 Conclusion Only compare populations that have theoretical reasons for differing on a dependent variable Replace culture with specific independent variables that might influence the dependent variable What aspects of the cultures cause differences in the dependent variable? Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

23 Revision What validity consideration need to be taken into account in cross-cultural research studies? What are some key issues to consider when developing instruments in cross-cultural research studies? Describe research designs that are useful in cross- cultural research studies Dr K. A. Korb University of Jos

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